Legal Terms & Their Meanings

Declaring something to be true under penalty of perjury by a person who will not take an oath for religious or other reasons.

A foreign born person who has not qualified as a citizen of the country; but an “alien” is a person, within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause of the U.S. Constitution, to the same extent as a citizen. – Galan v. Press, 347 US 522

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Any method used to resolve legal disputes other than traditional trial proceedings. (i.e. mediation)

Attorney In Fact
An agent authorized to act on behalf of another person.

Digital Asset
An electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest. The term does not include an underlying asset or liability unless the asset or liability is itself an electronic record. This definition is part of Florida’s new Act titled “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets” effective July 1, 2016.

The permanent home of a person. A person may have several residences, but only one domicile.

Eminent Domain
The legal process by which private property is taken for public use without the consent of the owner.

The use or manipulation of another person for one’s own advantage.

Filial Responsibility Law
A statute that establishes a duty for adult children to care for their indigent elderly parents.

Permanent fund established and maintained by contributions for charitable, educational, religious, research, or other benevolent purpose.

Holographic Will
A Will or Deed written entirely in a person’s own hand, signed but not witnessed. Holographic Wills are not valid in Florida.

Irrevocable Trust
A Trust that cannot be revoked after its creation.

An application made to a court or judge for the purpose of obtaining a rule or order directing some act to be done in favor of the applicant.

Probable Cause
Reasonable belief in certain alleged facts. Having more evidence ‘for’ than ‘against.’

Pro Se
A Latin phrase meaning for “yourself.” Representing yourself in a court case.

The legally protectable interest that an individual has in a dispute that entitles him to bring the controversy before the Court to obtain judicial relief.

Walt Shurden
Board Certified Elder Law Attorney